Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Centre) is seeking options for merging state agencies, including possibly merging agencies from within the areas of governance of different ministries, daily Postimees writes.
Ministry of Finance Deputy Secretary-General for Public Governance Policy Raigo Uukkivi contacted the Ministry of Justice on Friday to determine whether such a merger would be feasible.
"In the framework of the state reform, we are in the process of merging agencies within the spheres of governance of different ministries which, due to the coherence of their fields of activity, could form a common entity and thus merge into a single institution," Uukkivi said.
Ministries themselves have also expressed a desire and willingness to merge agencies across the spheres of governance of several ministries, the deputy secretary-general noted in his inquiry to the Ministry of Justice, acknowledging that realizing this idea would require the solving of a few legal issues.
Thus far, there is no precedent for an agency or inspectorate falling within the areas of governance of several ministries at once.
Among potential mergers to have been discussed already are a merger of the Road Administration, the Civil Aviation Administration and the Maritime Administration, as well as a merger of the Health Board and the State Agency of Medicines.
The Agricultural Board, the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA) and the Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) are currently also all separate agencies, for example.
Several foundations are also slated to be merged going forward. Seven foundations fall within the area of governance of the Ministry of Education and Research, for example — the Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA), the Foundation of Sports Education and Information, the education foundation Innove, the Qualifications Authority, the Archimedes Foundation, the Estonian Research Council, and the Science Centre Ahhaa.
As the government agreed during state budget strategy talks that opportunities must be sought to save money, the overall number of agencies will likely decrease following decisions made in the course of further deliberations this fall.
Editor: Aili Vahtla